How Have You “Received” Christ?
Receiving Christ is the theme of thousands of sermons and printed tracts. Is this phrase in the Bible? Yes. John 1:12 speaks of those who received Him. What does it mean? It is usually made to mean taking Him as your personal Savior. But that may not be right.
Let’s look again. The Gospel of John was written over 50 years (AD 85) after Jesus died on the cross and rose again. Less than two months after this resurrection, Peter told multiplied thousands of believers to “Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins.” (Acts 2:38) That answer was the rule for the next several centuries. Thirty years after Peter first announced it, Luke wrote it down while composing his Book of Acts (AD 60). Clearly, repentance and baptism of believers was the practice of the early church.
Now we have learned John’s definition for receiving Christ. Naturally he wasn’t contradicting his fellow apostle Peter and the practice of hundreds of thousands of Christians over a period of 50 years. To them and to John, receiving Christ meant the repentance and baptism of believers.
If you have yet to receive Christ in this Biblical way, be sure you are willing to change your mind about sin (repentance). Then find someone who will baptize you into Christ. Nothing less is obedience to God. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”